Every winter and summer, our gas and electricity bills rise as the heat seethes or the cold freezes. It’s given that if we want to be comfortable, if not able to function in our homes, we need the heat and AC. They’re necessary expenses, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to keep those costs down through the basic upkeep of your home. Here’s how to save on your heating and air conditioning.
Perform a Personal Home Energy Audit
While the best course of action is to arrange and pay for a professional energy audit, you can start out by assessing your home’s energy use and any potential issues that cause it to use more energy than it needs to. Walk around the house, from attic to basement, and look for things like leaks and drafts, faulty insulation, and bad ventilation. Seal up the leaks where you can with caulk (especially around door and window frames), cover holes in the roof and elsewhere, and replace insulation batting where you can. If it’s within your means, hire a professional to air seal your home properly. Perform regular maintenance on heating and cooling devices like water heaters, furnaces, boilers, and HVAC units.
Take It Down a Notch
While inspecting those devices, check their settings and go down a few degrees. Water heaters can still heat water perfectly well at 120 degrees, and you’ll notice the savings in your next bill. Leave the thermostat set at a comfortable temperature (rather than a frigid or scorching one), and make sure it’s set lower when no one is home, or during the night when everyone is snug in bed. Cold? Wear a sweater. Hot? Wear lighter and less clothing.
Keep It Clean and Clear and Use Nature To Heat and Cool Things
Are your registers blocked or dirty? Move furniture so it isn’t impeding air flow. Also, vacuum them out and wipe them down to prevent dust from gather and blocking the heat or cold air. Keep windows clean so the sun can shine in and naturally warm your home. Remember that shades and blinds can provide moderate adjustments to the heat and cold by being open or closed. Set up a fan in a window at one end of the house to draw in cool breezes, and another at the opposite end of the house to get rid of heat and keep the air flowing.
Heat and Cool Rooms Selectively
Still wondering how to save on your heating and air conditioning? Make sure you’re not heating or cooling the entire house at once. Close vents in unoccupied rooms so the furnace or AC isn’t being forced to work harder than it needs to. Lock doors and windows to redirect the treated air and remember to keep them closed. Make good use of ceiling fans to keep the air circulating in the right rooms. Stay cool, or hot, as the case may be!